You may have noticed that I've been fairly quiet on the blogging front for about a year now. I put it down to starting college and becoming employed but there has definitely been some other factors too. Even on social media, I'd stopped participating in blogger chats and my Instagram became more personal than blogging related. The only easy way to explain it all is that I fell out of love with blogging.
Four years ago, at the tender age of 14, I created Oh Hey There Rachel as a way to get my name out there. I read in a magazine somewhere that if you wanted to work in fashion, starting a blog was like starting a portfolio. So that's what I did. I started Oh Hey There Rachel with no expectations, but I worked hard to create content that I was proud of. I wanted to be able to use my blog as a portfolio, as a stepping stone for greater things. And in a way, I did. Oh Hey There Rachel started gaining attention and suddenly I was being whisked off to press events and getting sent things in the post. It was a very exciting time but also quite overwhelming. I somehow gained a name for myself as "the blogger" amongst friends and I was up for (and winning) awards for something I did as a hobby. Back when I started, it was an unusual hobby to have. Truth be told, there wasn't many bloggers my age at all, and that became my niche.
Then about two years ago, blogging became an actual profession. People were getting paid to write and share things from their home. Suddenly, that was the expected thing. That you would grow your following until you were essentially a full time blogger. So, that became my "dream job" and my goal. I started focusing on statistics and followers and somehow the love for blogging got lost along the way. It was frustrating to see new bloggers come along and already have 30k followers on Instagram, when I was working so hard to even get two thousand. Honestly, I didn't meet the "influencer" standard. I'm not a 6 foot model look alike with a designer bag collection and marble table top. And I'm totally okay with that.
Fast forward to 2016. I'm 18 years old, a journalism student and working as a stylist and occasional photography for an amazing Irish company. In the past 6 months, I've been in and out of a relationship. I've travelled to London, Budapest, Liverpool and Manchester. I've just been going out and living my own damn life to the fullest. I've stopped caring about statistics and follower growth and I've stopped feeling guilty about not being "the perfect blogger". I still feel like I need to live up to the blogger name sometimes, but that's something I know I can overcome.
As soon as I get a new laptop I hope to start creating more content for Oh Hey There Rachel. I'm not giving up- in fact I feel like maybe I'm just beginning. I'm thinking a total blog makeover, and ideas have been thrown around for a new website on the side with one of my best friends (an ex blogger at that).
Don't give up on me, internet. This petite Irish girl has a lot more to give.